Bridgeport chief: ICE arrest was ‘meant to send a message’

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Bridgeport's police chief says he believes a federal immigration arrest made Monday was "meant to send a message."

City officials say that arrest happened on North Washington Avenue near River Street around 10 a.m.

In a video sent to News 12, a man is seen being arrested by three agents – two of whom appear to be wearing vests that say "Police – ICE."

News 12 could not independently confirm the footage. Calls to Immigration and Customs Enforcement have not been returned. Bridgeport police say their officers were not involved in the arrest.

Mayor Joe Ganim says the federal government notified the city of the arrest, but they offered few details.

"It appears this was centered around one individual for various reasons that was left to federal authorities – ICE – not the Bridgeport Police Department," Ganim said.

It came one day after President Donald Trump said mass deportation raids were set to begin in other states.

RELATED VIDEO: Immigrants on edge as ICE raids begin

An immigration attorney told News 12 that he doesn't think the incident is related to the president's planned raids.

"Immigration is picking up somebody that they're looking for, most likely because they have some sort of a criminal record – and that's not just any kind of crime, that's moderate to serious crime. Or they have an outstanding deportation order," says Phillip Berns.

Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez sees it differently.

"I believe this arrest was in response to Gov. Lamont's steadfast refusal to cooperate with ICE and was meant to send a message."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal wants key questions answered.

"We want to know whether this individual had a criminal record, whether his arrest was part of a broader sweep, and what we can expect in the future by way of arrests," Blumenthal said.

Perez says ICE agents only come to Bridgeport "two or three times a year, if that."

Federal agents are not required to notify local law enforcement when they show up.

News 12 reached out to ICE but was not called back.

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